Random Rantings

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ignorance = Bliss?

My last post reminded me of a rant I went on some time back about people being ignorant and just plain idiotic for not examining their thinking.

The spark for that rant was a religious revival that some folks from my office had attended.

To summarize the revival:
There was some clergy person who gave a presentation that focused on a belief that any person who does not believe in Jesus Christ is in league with Satan, and is actively promoting evil in the world. The clergy-person went on to say that this did not mean that every non-Christian is an evil person – since those people who have not been shown the Gospel are just ignorant of its truth. This clergy-person then went on to explain that this why it is so important to evangelize, because you are saving all of these souls from being duped into evil purposes. He then spent a lot of time apparently explaining to attendees how to go about evangelizing people.
This group of my co-workers spend a lot of office time over the next week discussing how great this clergy-person’s presentation was, and how they totally agree with him.

To summarize my rant:
I am concerned that the clergy-person’s statement basically condemned those people who choose a non-Christian religion to being labeled “in league with Satan”. While apparently the clergy-person did not say this – a deduction you can make from his argument is that if someone is presented with the truth of the Gospel, and then chooses to reject it, in favor of their own religion, then they are “actively promoting evil in the world” – since they no longer fall into the single exception category of “ignorant”. (While someone could make the argument that this person is continuing to be ignorant, because of their refusal to believe, from my understanding of the clergy-person’s words, this was not what he meant.)
I am worried that following this logic, it does not take much to jump from a non-Christian promoting evil in the world, to a non-Christian being evil in and of him or herself.
I am concerned that the fact that my co-workers seem to love what this clergy-person had to say, means that they are okay with calling me an evil person…

Well – it turns out that they don’t think I’m evil, because they think I’m Christian… and yes, they all know that I’m Jewish…

Why am I suddenly two religions?

IGNORANCE

Apparently my co-workers need a course in comparative religion.

According to many of them, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and most other world religions (with the notable exceptions of pagan and native religions) believe in Jesus and just call him by other names, and have other holidays to celebrate him… For example:
· Ganesh is the way they say “Jesus” in India…
· Hannukah celebrates Jesus’ actual birthday, as compared to Christmas, which is the day we celebrate it on the calendar (like Martin Luther King Day is the Monday nearby his birthday)…
· Passover is another name for the Greek Orthodox Easter…

So – the only people who need to be evangelized, in the sense of needing to be exposed to the Gospel, are pagans and those of native cultures… and if those people reject Jesus, then they are really evil. (Of course, the Witches and poor and uneducated Native Americans).

I just can’t believe this anymore. The idiocy in the world never ceases to amaze me.

How someone can go through life not understanding that there are people that are different from your personal worldview?!? Are you all living under rocks people?!?

No wonder there are arguments about religion in public schools. People have grown up believing that everyone really is the same religion – and then are confused and angry when the “evil people” want to remove religion from their community. A simple education in religions diversity is what we all need. And then hopefully those people who have the capacity for putting themselves into someone else’s shoes will be able to understand why religion and the public sphere really shouldn’t mix.

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